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Mount Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe. This mountain is located in Russia, near the border of Georgia, at 5642m (18513 ft). Mt. Elbrus is formed by an enormous volcano separating Europe and Asia. We will take the southern route, the most common one, which will offer more facilities such as mountain hut accommodation.
The standard route to the top of Elbrus is long and tiring but is technically easy. Ascent to the top needs basic mountaineering skills only. However, volatile weather condition makes this ascent a more daring trip. There are several other routes to reach the top: it is often said that the northern route allows to see the exquisite sceneries of icy glaciers and green fields on the way to the top, though the south route is a normal route.
The higher altitude is widely covered with snow sheets. There are 22 glaciers around the Mount Elbrus. You should spend at least of five nights above the base camp to acclimatize for a long summit trek day of nearly 1600m.We will ensure that you will gain lot of climbing skills and acclimatize fully before the actual summit day. The descent of Elbrus takes about 3-6 hours and needs lots of care while descending. We will ensure local guides for this trek.
Route: Elbrus has two Summits, the east (5621m) and the west (5642m), the normal and main climbing route, meaning the South Route, takes you to the West Summit (5642m).
Arrive in Mineral Vody Airport. We will drive you on our private bus to Terskol town which takes around 4 hours. We will stay in the Snowboard hotel in Baksan. There are twin and triple rooms in the hotel, with toilet and shower. Single accommodation may be available for additional cost in case there are vacant rooms in hotel or if you ordered that in advance. Estimate to arrive Mineral Vody before 1:30 PM to catch the ground transportation easily.
Overnight at the Snow leopard hotel.
Meal: Welcome Dinner.
Acclimatization hike up to cable car station Cheget-3 (3100 m) on Mt. Cheget or Terskol Peak (3150 m), depending on a physical condition of participants and weather (the decision is made by the guide in coordination with participants). This is the last day before we leave the valley and after hike we can visit equipment store in order to hire something. Our guide will assist us by choosing right equipment.
Overnight at the same hotel in Baksan.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch.
This is the day when we move to the mountain hut at 3800 m. You can leave all not necessary stuff at hotel in Baksn. It will not be necessary to carry our backpacks self because the group will reach the hut using cable car. There will be only a short distance to walk from the cable cars last station to the hut. You will be kindly asked to help the guide to load the boxes with food onto the ski lifts and then to unload it. The cook will either ascend with us or already awaiting us at the hut preparing light lunch. After having tea or coffee with sandwiches and sweeties we put on all mountain equipment and go for acclimatization hike up to 4300 m/14107 ft.
Overnight at the hut.
Mount Elbrus is a moderately high mountain, so acclimatization is very important, especially since most people will be arriving from low elevation. Altitude sickness is very common on Elbrus. We begin our acclimatization hike early in the morning. Hiking up to Pastukhov’s rocks will help us acclimatize to the high altitude and further prepare us for our ultimate climb and return to the hut (Refuge).
Overnight at the hut.
On this day, we will have ice- and snow courses with our guide not far from the refuge. The guide will teach us how to put on the crampons and how to walk in it; he will show us techniques of self-arrest with an ice-axe and we will try to slide down the slope and then fix yourself on the snow using your ice-axe and the crampons. Don’t worry when you’ve never tried it before.
Overnight at the refuge.
We leave the hut at early morning for the climb of Elbrus’ west summit, 5642 m (18,510 ft). With some additional cost it is possible to hire a snow-cat (Ratrak) for a group. This vehicle carries climbers up to Pastuckhov rocks and saves 4 hours and a lot of energy. Generally, for an average group, it takes about 9 hours to reach the top and 5 hours to come back to the hut.
Overnight at the hut.
This is a Spare day to attempt Elbrus if the weather on the previous day was bad (otherwise return to the hotel).
When the group takes an attempt of reaching the summit on this day, it is necessary to descend to the Baksan valley same evening by all means, though it may be hard because the ski lifts stop working at 4 p.m. Solemn dinner with delivery of certificates on climbing Elbrus.
Overnight at the hotel.
Drive to Mineralnye Vody airport early in the morning to be in time for the flight which departs. please plan your flight back to the destination not earlier than 11am.